1950's television documentary special that includes interviews with Hitler's sister Paula Wolf and a fellow prisoner who was incarcerated with Hitler, actual footage shot by the Nazi's and Eva Braun's rare home movies.
February 26, 2011
No comment on the sbuject itself, but...
...just so you know, the sound goes gradually further out of sync to the point where the images have nothing to do with the audio. Despite this, quite watchable. I'd like to see a better copy (someday. That's quite enough Hitler for today!)
James Edwards (the5secrets.com)
July 29, 2008
The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler - an American Perspective
Made in the 1950's, but has the distinct style of 1930's and 1940's newsreels. Almost continuous, slightly distacting orchestral music.
The interviews from the people who knew A Hitler personally - his sister, Paula Wolf and the feloow prisoner are short, near the beginning and add nothing ground breaking.
The content is slightly biased, and quite simplified. There are some accurate statistics and broad dates. Later dates are more accurate.
Most of the footage comes from early Nazi propaganda films.
There is disturbing insight into the writing of Mein Kampf, from a fellow prison inmate (cell mate?). He describes how what was written in the morning was read out that night.
Includes excerpts from Leni Riefenstahl's 'Triumph of the Will' [Triumph des Willens].
As it develops you can see the maniaical control excerted within Nazi Germany.
The commentary quickly diverges from the title and generalises about the build up and start of World War II [WWII].
When Eva Braun is mentioned at 20 minutes, Frau Schaub describes how Hitler loved women and was normal.
Although there is little discussion about the intimate psychology of any of the lead characters. Tantalising mention of Eva Braun's diaries, but no images.
Quality of images is variable. THe sound is generally excellent.
It even shows at 26 minutes, Hitler, the leader of the nation dancing. He looks as uncomfortable as George W Bush.
When intercutting occupation and attack with the Berchtesgaden ('Eagle's Nest', Bavaria overlooking Austria) it is very crude and jarring.
Later Joseph Schaub is more inciteful, describing Hilter's brain as being 'perfectly in order, right up to the end'.
Around 46 minutes Hans Bauer, Hitler's driver was given orders to burn the bodies. Sadly the German is talked over, and drowned out by music.
Overall, this probably should be decribed as a chronology of the second world war, with emphasis on Eva Braun, featuring Hitler and aroun 5 minutes of first hand interviews with people who knew him.
Good archival record, probably showing more that the victor does write the history. Leaving out any inciteful speculation into the why's and mind of a 'house painter turned dictator' as described in the film.
Disappointing from a research perpective.